Crowe’s owner looking to hand over restaurant
Published 8:41 pm Thursday, March 15, 2018
Hold on to your chicken cravings.
Crowe’s Chicken is not going anywhere.
Although Robert Jones has put out a few feelers and his iconic business is listed, there will continue to be a Crowe’s Chicken in Troy.
“There’s too much history with Crowe’s and the City of Troy and Troy University to let it close,” said Jones, who has owned and operated the popular chicken restaurant since 1996. “I’ll soon be 65 years old and I’ve got a little heath concern. But, if the business doesn’t sell to somebody that will keep the Crowe’s tradition going, then I’ll be here.”
Like so many connoisseurs of Crowe’s fried chicken, Jones said he would miss the chicken with the special sauce that so many restaurants have tried to duplicate but just can’t quite get it.
The special sauce was the creation of Sherrill Crowe, the original owner.
“The sauce was Mr. Crowe’s own little recipe and I knew I couldn’t improve on it,” Jones said.
Crowe’s opened in Troy in 1976 but the first Crowe’s was in Sylacauga, and that one has opened once again.
“I started working for Mr. Crowe in 1980 and took over the lease in 1996,” Jones said.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business now for 53 years, so I decided to put Crowe’s on the market and see if anybody was interested. I had planned to work until I was 70 anyway so, if it takes five years to find that somebody, I’ll be here.”
Robert Jones started working in the restaurant business when he was 12 years old, washing dishes by hand at Grimes Café.
Grimes Café was a busy restaurant with stacks of dirty dishes that never seemed to get any smaller. Jones soon realized that he had not been called to the dishwashing business.
“It was a bit much,” he said, laughing. “But Mrs. Grimes asked me if I was willing to try my hand as a waiter and I learned under Mary Bassett, Charles Stringer and William Stringer. I worked at Grimes for a long time – about 15 years.”
When the Ingrams, David and Charles, bought Grimes Restaurant, Jones went to work for them for about 10 years. All the time he worked for someone else, his thoughts were of owning a restaurant. And Crowe’s has been a perfect fit.
The Crowe’s location on Highway 231 has closed but Jones said his customers are finding their way to the location on North Three Notch Street.
“Local people know where we are and others that have been eating with us are using their GPS to find us,” Jones said. “So, as long as people keep coming, we’ll be open and, if I ever do sell, it will be too somebody that I’m sure will keep up the standards of Crowe’s.”